Cosmetic Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)

Cosmetic ear surgery or Otoplasty can correct a defect in the ear structure that been present since birth or it can treat misshapen ears caused by injury.

Ear surgery creates a natural shape, while bringing balance and proportion to the ears and face. Correction of even minor issues can have tremendous bene?ts to appearance and self-esteem.

man who has had an ear procedureAt the Henry Ford Center for Cosmetic Surgery we treat:

  • Overly large ears — a rare condition called macrotia
  • Protruding ears occurring on one or both sides— not associated with hearing loss
  • Adult dissatisfaction with previous ear surgery

What to expect

During your first visit you will discuss with your doctor why you want to have ear surgery. You will also discuss your expectations. Other information you will need to go over with your doctor:

  • Review your medical history. Be prepared to answer questions about your current and past medical conditions, especially any ear infections.
    • Talk about any medications you're taking or have taken recently
    • Any surgeries you've had
  • A physical examination of your ears. To determine your treatment options, the doctor will examine your ears — this includes their placement, size, shape and symmetry. The doctor might also take pictures of your ears for your medical record.
  • Discuss your expectations. Explain why you want ear surgery and what you're hoping for in terms of appearance after the procedure.
  • Make sure you discuss with your doctor any risks.

Common questions about cosmetic ear surgery

How is ear surgery (otoplasty) performed?

Ear surgery can be done in a hospital or an outpatient surgical facility. Ear surgery techniques vary based on what kind of correction is needed. After making incisions, your doctor might remove excess cartilage and skin. Then fold the cartilage into the proper position and secure it with internal stitches. Additional stitches will be used to close the incisions.

How long does the procedure take?

The time will vary based on procedure, however it typically takes about two hours.

Where will the incisions be?

Your doctor might make incisions:

  • On the backs of your ears
  • Within the inner creases of your ears

What type of anesthesia is used for cosmetic ear surgery (otoplasty)?

Based on the procedure your doctor will decide whether to use sedation or a local anesthesia.

  • Before your cosmetic ear surgery
    • Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding. Discuss all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications with your doctor.
    • You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery AND stay with you for at least the ?rst night following surgery.
    • Stop smoking. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can slow the healing process. If you smoke, your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking before surgery and during recovery.
  • After your cosmetic ear surgery
    • After surgery you will have bandages on your ears for protection and support.
    • You'll likely feel some discomfort and itching. Take pain medication as recommended by your doctor. If you take pain medication and your discomfort increases, contact your doctor immediately.
    • To keep pressure off your ears, avoid sleeping on your side.
    • Try not to rub or put pressure on the incisions.
    • Consider wearing button-down shirts or shirts with loose-fitting collars.
    • A few days after surgery, your doctor will remove your bandages. Your ears will likely be swollen and red. 
    • At night, for two to six weeks, you will need to wear a loose headband that covers your ears this will help keep you from bending or pulling your ears forward when rolling over in bed.
    • Talk to your doctor about when your stitches will be removed. Do not remove your bandages for any reason.
    • Ask your doctor when it's OK to resume daily activities, such as bathing and physical activity
Take the next step

Request a consult today. 


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